The 8-4 New York football Giants will take on the 11-1 Dallas Cowboys tonight at 8:30. The Giants are the only team to beat the Cowboys this season as they beat them narrowly 20-19 in Week One. Obviously a lot has changed since then. Dallas hasn’t lost since and has the best record in the NFL while the Giants fought off early season struggles to put themselves at 8-4.
Giants D-Line vs Cowboys O-Line:
Have you ever heard the saying “Games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage” Well you can multiply that by three in this game. The Cowboys offensive line has demolished teams up to this point in the season. They make life easy for Elliott and give Dak the time to make good decisions with the football. They also make sure Dallas can control time of possession. This allows them to keep their lack luster defense off the field for as long as possible. With all of that being said this Giants defense has played like one of the best in the league. There defensive line has held strong and done a great job making life miserable for opposing running backs. They are only allowing 91.4 rushing yards per game(5th best in the NFL) and are only allowing 19.8 points per game(9th best in the NFL). They do allow a lot of yards but their bend don’t break style of defense and ability to force turnovers make this defense as elite as they come. Whoever wins the battle at the line is going to be able to push their style of play on the opposing team and likely be able to win this game.
Can the Giants find a rhythm offensively?
In the first meeting between these two teams the Giants had their most balance offensive display of the year. All three of the Giants stud receivers impacted the game at a high level.
Odell Beckham: 4 rec 73 yds 0 Td
Victor Cruz: 4 Rec 34 yds 1 Td
Sterling Shepard: 3 Rec 43 yds 1 Td
This mixture is something we need to see again. Spreading the ball around will not only get this offense in rhythm but it will make life easier on Odell. Cruz and Shepard need to make impacts early so that Dallas can’t focus all on Odell. The Giants also need to stick to the run game. I understand how frustrating it is watching the Giants runs go nowhere but in the NFL one dimensional offenses just don’t work. With Jennings in the back field he should be more then serviceable and bring some sort of balance to this offense.
On the Cowboys end they need to not let this offense find any rhythm. In the first meeting they let everyone on this offense kill them. They allowed Eli to find 7 different receivers and allowed the Giants rushing attack to pick up 113 yards. They allowed all of this and only were able to force one turnover. The Cowboys need to make the Giants a one-dimensional, one receiver driven offense. If they let everyone impact the game like last game and let this offense find a rhythm the Giants will be tough for the Cowboys to beat.
Odell vs Dez Bryant:
This week has not been the best for Odell. Many people have taken shots at him for his comments on the officials and blamed him for the Giants offensive struggles. Skip Bayless went on the record calling Odell “Small and Soft” and a “Diva” and that he would take Dez over Odell if he was a general manager. These words did not sit well with Odell and he is going to put on a show for all to see tonight.
The question I have is, Can Odell make himself and others around him better when this team needs it most? This Giants team controls its own destiny to the playoffs and they need Odell driving that bandwagon. Odell needs to be patient and allow himself to catch balls within the scheme of the offense. When he is complaining and making a scene it puts pressure on Eli to throw it his way even when he may not be open. There is no doubt in my mind that Odell deserves to see the ball more than anyone on this roster but that doesn’t mean it should be forced to him. If Odell lets this happen, if he plays within the flow of the offense he will have a huge game. Odell needs to come up big when the Giants need it the most on 4th down, in the redzone and of course in the 4th quarter.
Dez also has a big opportunity ahead of him. He has struggled all year and has fallen out of that “Elite” receiver question. Well he has come around over these past few weeks and has a chance tonight to put himself back into that conversation.
This game has a lot of hype surrounding it. This is a chance for the Cowboys to beat the only team to beat them this year and make sure the Giants can’t catch them in the division. For the Giants this is a chance to legitimize their Week One win over the Cowboys and move one step closer to clinching a playoff spot. One thing is for sure tonight all of these questions will be answered and It is certainly going to be one heck of a football game.
As a Giant fan at heart I am going to pick them to win this game. I think this team just has so much to play for and has the talent to beat Dallas again. I think they will be able to disrupt the Cowboys offense and force Dak to make mistakes. I also believe Odell will have the best game we have seen from him yet. He didn’t quite live up to expectations last week and he’ll make up for it today.
Score Prediction: Giants win 28-24